Friday, November 11, 2016

Why Trump Won

Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate the West because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist countries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the leftist's real motive for hating America and the West. He hates America and the West because they are strong and successful.
(Industrial Society and its Future, Ted Kaczynski)

There are patterns in human history which briefly trend, then reverse.

Humanity likes to experiment, or to manipulate existing social and thought patterns.  But our success as a species is because if a social pattern or a way of thinking is not working, we change course.  Sometimes not so quickly, but eventually.

What is the historical pattern which has trended for the last few decades and which is now reversing all over the world?  The reversal may again be temporary, but the signs are there.  And my bet on Trump was a bet on the strengthening of this reversal.

The Trump victory must be studied across disciplines.  The margin of victory was small, and it could have easily gone the other way.  But remember the passion at Trump's rallies, the extraordinary support for Trump on social media, and the massive assault on Trump from the entire establishment.

The denigration of Trump and his supporters was brutal, unrelenting and widespread.

Why was the opposition to Trump so vicious?  And why was his support so passionate?  I have some thoughts on this.

This was a war between two narratives.

I recognized this early on, in late 2015.  It was unimportant to note the specifics of Trump's policies.  It was only important to understand where he was in the narrative; it was only essential to note who was for him and who was against him.

Welfare recipients.  Against.
Leftist commentators.  Against.
Advertising-based media.  Against.
New-age spirituality.  Against.
Feminists.  Against.
Beta males.  Against.
Multiculturalists.  Against.
Globalists.  Against.
Interventionists.  Against.
Atheists.  Against.
Urban millennials.  Against.
Vacuous Hollywood (Seth Rogen, Amy Schumer, Madonna, etc.).  Against.
Saudi Arabia.  Against.
Established politicians.  Against.
Intellectual Yet Idiot class. Against.
Establishment Economists. Against.

Since I was operating at the level of narratives, I had to seek who all were against the narratives peddled by the group above (let's call the above Group A).  I realized that in time all those against Group A would unite.

Jailed or exiled Hackers.  Against A.
Heretic Thinkers (Taleb, Thiel, etc.).  Against A.
The Manosphere. Against A.
Modern horseback riders (Bikers). Against A.
Self-Reliant Romantics (Gun owners). Against A.
Habitual Skeptics (Conspiracy Theorists). Against A.
The so-called "Alt-Right".  Against A.
The Heavy Lifters (Firemen, Police, Border Patrol). Against A.
The Brexit advocates.  Against A.
Those proud of their cultures.  Againat A.
Alpha/Masculine figures (Clint Eastwood, Join Voight, Hulk Hogan, Mike Tyson, James Woods): Against A.

The first narrative is that of socialization, institutionalization and alienation.  The second narrative is that of autonomy, individualism and identity.

The first narrative is that of relativism (situational ethics).  The second narrative is that of absolutes (moral imperatives).

For the last few decades, the first narrative has been pushed down the throats of unwilling people.  People are living emotionally vacuous lives, alienated, without a sense of purpose or meaning.  Long-existing structures of family, religion and self-reliance have been slowly losing out to consumption, superficiality and powerlessness.

It has become fashionable to criticize the old structures.  TV ads and movies pooh-pooh father figures.  There is all the talk of the corruption of religion without any commentary on its benefits.  Fashion is promoted endlessly over frugality.  Consumerism and Media and Fiat money and Bernanke/Fed believers and Big Bang orthodoxy and Feminism and String Theory fanaticism and Global Warming clique are sometimes contradictory but entirely understandable partners in this cultural warfare.  They may not be wrong, but they are smug and they are bullies.

This was a cultural bubble getting ready to pop.

In the last decade, a counter-culture has arisen to defend itself from the mainstream narrative.  And I have been (and continue to be) part of that movement.  That counter-culture is against the dogmas of group A.

The second group is that of the counter-culture.

So, when Trump entered the fray in 2015, I realized that this counter-culture had (unwittingly) joined hands with middle America, which had been systematically exploited and bankrupted, I knew it was only a matter of time before this union of insulted and the humiliated (the poor middle America) and the counter-culture would gather enough momentum to achieve at least some victories on Group A.

It was possible that Trump could have lost.  But I had, and continue to have, faith in the momentum of the counter-culture.  The viciousness of the media against him, and against the counter-culture, only solidified my resolve.

Both the powerless and the cultural warriors were needed for victory: the middle America was needed for the numbers on election day.  The counter-culture was needed to provide hope and cultural ammunition against group A.  I wasn't part of the middle America.  I don't even have a vote yet.  But my sympathies were completely with them.  And I reveled in the counter-attacks at the front lines of culture.

This was guerrilla warfare to defend poor "uneducated" natives from a pillaging post-colonial army.

Trump was/is the symbolic leader the guerrilla cultural warriors and the natives needed.  He may or may not be able to fulfill all his promises.  But my bet was only on the strength of this movement.  What the movement is able to achieve via Trump remains to be seen.

I knew that people defending are always more passionate than those attacking.  The attackers were in many cases professional, paid-for employees.  The defenders were working to save their way of life.  The attackers (not knowing what they were fighting for) lost enthusiasm and many stayed home on election day.

That difference in passion was enough.  And Trump won.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

What Donald Trump's Campaign Taught Me

Today is election day in the United States.  Since November of last year, I have supported Donald J Trump to become the next President of the United States.

I believe he will win.  But no matter what the result of this election, men and women around the world have witnessed a historic and remarkable election campaign.  It has been an experience the likes of which may never come again in our lifetime.

The media, all around the world, has been massively prejudiced against Donald Trump.  And only those who could sift through and put aside the hysterical opinion pieces, the biased TV coverage, the corrupt headlines, the false labels, the rigged debates and the skewed opinion polls could even begin to have a perspective on the elections which they could call their own.

I am naturally distrustful of mainstream media, and many Americans are aware that media houses are just corporations seeking their own profits and having their own motives.  But even I was shocked to see the extent of media bias.  I no longer expect to get true and correct information from TV and newspapers.  It is hard work to do one's own research and to understand the context of a quote or a gesture, but it's worth it.

I am a permanent resident in this country and am not yet eligible to vote.  But I have followed this election almost every day for the last one year.  And this election, but especially the campaign of Donald J Trump, has made me realize some very important things:

1. Purpose is Energy.  Millions across the country, and millions more around the world, have been energized to believe that the world can change.  That the problems that we face might be complex and troubling, but are not insurmountable.  A leader gives hope to his people.  And hope makes people face every new day with strength and a feeling that they matter.  And that things can change.  The passion behind the campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders has been the passion to change the world's most powerful center.  Trump supporters have poured in countless hours to support their leader, to design art and viral memes, to laugh and cry together, to make fun of others and to be made fun of, to passionately appeal for their candidate online, to volunteer as citizen-journalists, to stand for hours in a line to a rally, ... All because they feel energized.  And all because they again feel hope.  Hope matters.

2. Heroism is alive.  In the face of heavy odds, when everybody is predicting your defeat, and nobody comes to your side, the hero continues to believe in his destiny, and in his battle, and continues to fight.  It was a privilege to watch a modern figure fight against the whole world, and not give up despite being wounded again and again.  Many times Trump's campaign was predicted to be dead, and he was expected to throw in the towel.  But he fought till the very last day.  This fight will be studied in the history books.

3. People have awakened.  The campaigns for Brexit in UK, and of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the US, have shown the world that no amount of media propaganda, money power and elites siding with something can guarantee its victory.  Brits turned up, and voted UK out of EU.  Bernie Sanders gave jitters to the Democrat establishment in the US.  Trump won the Republican nomination and is only a step away from being the "leader of the free world".

4. Loyalty makes a man.  When a friend, or a family member, or your leader is caught on the wrong side, or makes a mistake, stand with him.  Admonish him, make him be a better man, pray for him, but stand with him.  There is no one among us who is flawless, but honor and loyalty is to stand with someone when that stand is no longer beneficial to yourself.  Turncoats are never respected, and are never remembered by history.  If your support and loyalty is calculated, it will go away when the calculation is no longer in your favor.  And that is a terrible way to live.  The joys of family, friendship and community are meaningful because we forgive each other and stand with each other in trouble.  When you are part of something, or have chosen a side, stand resolute.  Do not be easily swayed.

5. Heresy is man's sacred duty.  From the days of the apocryphal story of the Emperor having no clothes, heresy, and political incorrectness is the true duty of a man who values truth.  To say as one sees things, and not care about public opinion, is a rare virtue today.  It requires courage, conviction, and a certain authenticity of spirit.  To live truly is to be true to oneself.  You will sometimes make mistakes.  But it is no life to only be a sheep in the herd and always act safe.  Be bold.  Be true to yourself.  Live.

Today is election day in the United States.  And I want the people's candidate, the energetic, anti-establishment, populist, brave heretic to win.

May the force be with Donald J Trump.